It took more than a year, but the class of 2020 is getting its in-person commencement at Westmont College.
Complete with bagpipes.
The Montecito college announced Wednesday that the more than 180 graduates will go up on the stage at Carr Field at 9 a.m. Oct. 16. (A total of 298 is eligible for the ceremony.)
Last year’s in-person graduation was delayed by the pandemic, but now the college is ready to present the class’ diplomas in a tent on the field. The event isn’t open to the public, and each graduate is allowed one parking pass and four guests. The campus will be closed to the public from 6 a.m. to noon.
But that afternoon, the graduates and public will celebrate the 2020-21 edition of Westmont’s homecoming, which will feature a children’s fair, a young alumni tailgate, men’s and women’s soccer games, and the annual All-Alumni Awards Celebration. The awards are going to Reggie Williams, class of 1995, the Alumnus of the Year; Sharon Koh, class of 2000, the Alumna of the Year; Daniel Guzman, class of 2012, Young Alumnus of the Year, and Michael Trueblood, Global Service Award winner.
Before the big afternoon will be the big morning for the class of 2020.
“We have been working to ensure these graduates are able to commemorate this milestone and celebrate their tremendous accomplishment, even if it is nearly a year-and-a-half late,” Mary Pat Whitney, Westmont director of public events, said in a news release.
The commencement speaker will be Marcus “Goodie” Goodloe, a Martin Luther King Jr. scholar, senior fellow for ethics and justice at Dallas Baptist University’s Institute for Global Engagement and a member of the Westmont Parents’ Council.
There will also be student reflections by Hendrik Struik and Odile Ndayishimiye Uwineza.
During the graduation, the Provost’s Office will present the Faculty Scholarship Award to Westmont graduate Nathan Tudor, who earned a 4.0 GPA during his successful pursuit of a degree in religious studies.
And Edee Schultze, the vice president for student life, will deliver the Dean’s, Dave Dolan and Kenneth Monroe awards to outstanding graduates.
The Oct. 16 event isn’t just a commencement. It’s also a one-year reunion for the class of 2020. To mark the occasion, the Alumni Office will hold a cap and gown pickup party on Oct. 15 under the Carr Field tent. Expect a DJ, raffles, food and later a time of worship led by the class’ musicians.